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Army tanks clear some pro-Mubarak forces in square

Feb. 3: Pro-Mubarak demonstrators, bottom, clash with anti-government demonstrators, top right, as a palm tree burns from a firebomb, in Tahrir Square, Cairo.

Feb. 3: Pro-Mubarak demonstrators, bottom, clash with anti-government demonstrators, top right, as a palm tree burns from a firebomb, in Tahrir Square, Cairo.  (AP)

Four army tanks have moved into positions protecting the anti-government protest camp in Cairo's Tahrir Square hours after automatic weapons fire pounded the demonstrators before dawn on Thursday.

One tank moved onto a bridge overlooking the square and pushed out young men who had been throwing stones at the anti-government protesters. Four other tanks took up a position between the pro-Mubarak forces and the largest group of anti-government demonstrations at the north end of the square near the Egyptian Museum.

It was not immediately clear if the moves were an isolated incident or part of a wider decision for the army to begin protecting the demonstrations. The military stood aside as they were attacked with stones, sticks and bottles Wednesday.

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